Taking the difficulties out of using keep cups

Two Kiama stay at home dads have come up with an idea that they hope will stop a million takeaway coffee cups going to landfill in their first year of operation.

Parfait Patisserie’s Troy and Sam Hindmarch with Green Caffeen’s Damien Clarke and Martin Brooks

Damien Clarke, a former real estate agent, and Martin Brooks, a former policeman, got talking one day about why people find it hard to use keep cups, given the environmental difference they can make.

“It came down to remembering to have one with you, and getting around to washing it,” says Damien.

“We came up with Green Caffeen as a new way to have the environmental benefits of keep cups without the hassle.”

For a small monthly fee, coffee drinkers get access to Green Caffeen’s cups at participating cafes, and are able to return them to that, or another participating café for washing. An app tracks useage, and makes sure the cups are returned.

“Interest in the idea has been tremendous,” says Martin. “We’ve had to extend our pilot program, starting in mid-July, from just the Kiama LGA to other locations in the Illawarra because café owners are so keen to get involved.”

Twenty of the 37 cafes in our area are so far committed to being involved in the pilot. Kiama Council is supporting the initiative by providing $5,000 to enable the co-branding of 2500 of the distinctive green cups with the Destination Kiama logo. The cups are made in Australia, from recycled material.

One of the businesses keen to be involved is the soon to be opened bakery café, Parfait Patisserie, on Manning St.

Run by Troy Hindmarch, formerly of the iconic Gumnut Patisserie in Bowral and recognised as the best young pastry chef in Australia, the café is on the old Sevbak site.

Troy says he and his wife Sam had already been looking at ways to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging, and that the extra washing up was well worth participation.

“We think people will love us having clean reusable keep cups on hand to help reduce the landfill problem.”

It is estimated that 90 per cent of the 1.2 billion disposable coffee cups used in Australia end up in landfill.

The potential for these Kiama dads’ idea is enormous.

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